Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Psychedelic Furs & She Wants Revenge

The Psychedelic Furs with special guests She Wants Revenge. Yes! I have been anxiously awaiting this show for months. I saw She Wants Revenge at the House of Blues in 2006 and was lucky enough to see Adam of SWR play a private DJ set, upstairs at Mix; It was one the best nights I’ve ever had! The cherry on top was getting a chance to see the highly influential The Psychedelic Furs.
We arrived just after She Wants Revenge played Red Flags & Long Nights, These Things, and True Romance. They sounded a great as I remember, this time with a drummer, a guitarist, Adam and Justin, with his deep lingering vocals. They played three great new songs, Suck It Up, Maybe She’s Right, and Kiss Me. Justin addressed the audience, “You may remember these two,” and SWR finished strong with Out of Control and Tear You Apart. I was once again so pleased to see She Wants Revenge, only wishing they could have played longer.
After a short break, The Psychedelic Furs opened with Love My Way. I was impressed how many members make up The Psychedelic Furs and how equally voluminous their sound is. The Butler brothers matched the band's lively energy by engaging the audience, dancing about the stage, and singing along.
The Psychedelic Furs transitioned between old and new songs without missing a beat. Songs included Believe, Heartbeat, The Ghost in You, Like a Stranger, So Run Down, President Gas, In My Head, Sister Europe, She Is Mine, Heaven, All of This and Nothing, and wrapped up with their infectious Pretty in Pink. After a few minutes of cheering and clapping, the Furs returned for an encore, playing two new songs which I did not recognize.
Both SWR and The Psychedelic Furs played downbeat new-wave grooves that kept the audience dancing and singing all night. Although the crowd was small, there was much applause between tracks and by the looks of all the smiling faces, you could tell everyone was a fan. Neither one of us knew what to expect from The Psychedelic Furs and were completely taken aback by how great they were. If you are into new-wave, both She Wants Revenge and The Psychedelic Furs are a must see!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Insane Clown Posse with Coolio, Kittie, and Necro

I must say, Insane Clown Posses with Coolio, Kittie, and Necro, was one of the most interesting line-ups I had seen in a while. Due to the Juggalo counter-culture, I had very mixed feelings about attending this show, but pulled through for Necro and Kitty. The Juggalos were out in full force, but must have been disappointed when they arrived, the ticket read, “No face paint. No Exceptions.”
Tried as we might, left work early, made it to the show 20 minutes late and still missed Necro. We weren’t even aware he had been on-stage until after we asked his merch booth. Needless to say, the fact that he was only onstage for 15 minutes and we missed it was pretty weak. For a minute, my guest considered driving to Tempe the next night to see Necro.

Kittie came on-stage and melted faces with their grinding heavy metal. Screaming vocals, a hair swinging bassist, trashing guitars, and heavy double bass rattled the walls. Kittie really tore it up, got me head-banging in no time. Unfortunately, Kittie didn’t receive the praise they deserved. The audience started chanting “I.C.P.” near the end of their set. Before they played their last song, they thanked I.C.P, and she screamed “We love Juggalos.” I was so rocked out, I could have gone home happy after their performance.
Coolio also put on a great high energy performance. Similar to a M.C. Hammer show, Coolio had several musicians, a saxophone player, and some family members with him on stage. Coolio brought the house down, tearing his shirt off and closing with Fantastic Voyage and Ganstar’s Paradise. Coolio exclaimed “I’m 56 years old, from California, but my home is in Las Vegas. I’m a fucking Juggalo!”

By now, the fans were exploding with energy, chants of “Faygo” echoed through the crowd every few minutes. Everyone had noticed the sheets of plastic covering the sound equipment and crammed themselves on the floor, awaiting the shower of Faygo that was soon to come. As @horrorcore_girl informed me, “heck yea faygo is like baptism for us!! whoop whoop”
The curtains opened to an elaborately decorated stage, large ICP flashing letters, two large Juggalo logos, shiny streamers, and five tables fully stocked with Faygo 2 liters. There were even Faygo guns set-up, ready to douse to audience at long range. An ICP version of the circus theme Entry Of The Gladiators was playing, and an ornately dressed ringleader came out and properly introduced Insane Clown Posse.
Insane Clown Posse did not disappoint their sea of fans. Shaggy was shaking up, spraying the crowd, and throwing a bottle of Faygo nearly every minute. There was a clown whose sole job was re-filling the tables with Faygo; it was an endless supply. During the chorus of many of their songs, streamers would pour down from the ceilings, and about eight clowns would come from backstage either spraying Faygo or throwing confetti . It was a total mess and the fans loved it every minute of it, singing, bouncing up and down, and having the time of their lives. I have never seen so many people fill the House of Blues , sing, chant, and unite as one massive fan.
The visuals were bold, watching the audience get doused near GWAR levels was entertaining, ICP sounded good and really put on an over the top show. ICP played Hocus Pocus, My Axe, The Show Must Go On, Murder Rap, Terrible, I Do This, Chicken Pluckin Huntin, Get Ya Wicked On, Guts On The Ceiling, Truly Alone, Fuck The World, Let’s Go All The Way, Assassins, and we made our exit during Miracles. “Fucking magnets, how do they work,” is where we draw the line.
Although we missed Necro, each artist put on a fantastic performance. Kittie, Coolio, and Insane Clown Posse was like going to three different shows, crammed into one evening. I would highly recommend checking out Kittie, Coolio, and Insane Clown Posse, whether you are a fan or not. Insane Clown Posse’s show is one of a kind and I am glad I got the chance to see it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Friday night’s show at the House of Blues was a real throwback, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Not only was Bone ground-breaking in their unique style, their music was a true reflection of the times. Emerging in the midst of the early 90s East Coast / West Coast battle between rappers, Bone stood apart. When I found out Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was on tour, I flashed back, remembering how their music was attached to so many memories.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony opened with Facts Don’t Lie. Each member came out onstage one-by-one when it was their verse. The audience gave a welcoming applause, and they continued with their new release Rebirth, then Days of Our Lives, First of Tha Month, No Surrender, and Frontline Warrior. However, Bizzy Bone never showed up and was never even mentioned, his verses were skipped, and he was never mentioned during the show.
Bone Thugs took time to show respect for their friends and fellow rappers that have passed on. They played Foe Tha Love Of $ for their mentor, Easy E, part of Biggie’s Hypnotize, then Crew of the Year, written by Tupac. Two of the Bones poured out a Corona on each side of the stage, “for the homies.” Later in the show, they also played tribute to Michael Jackson by singing Rock With You.
After their tribute, Bone paid homage to their favorite past-time, smoking weed. Only green stage lights were left on, DJ Ice set the intro for Sweet Jane, and the House of Blues enjoyed a smoke-out. Bone quickly brought the mood back up and wrapped up their set with some of my favorites; Thuggish Ruggish Bone, Crossroads, East 1999, I’m Gone, and Shots to the Double Glock, dousing the crowd with water as they sang the chorus, “Pop, pop, pop!”
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony thanked their fans and asked all the ladies to come onstage and dance. Within minutes, the stage was filled with ladies, dancing to a beat put on by the DJ. The stage slowly cleared, the house lights brightened, and the show ended slowly with an awkward fizzle.
Bone Thugs had proven true to their style, emanating a relaxed energy, and their harmonies filled the house. Although the show was not the best, we still had a great time. Their music still has as much of an effect on me as it did 15 years ago. I just want to ask Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “What’s going on? Where’s Bizzy?”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tech N9ne with the Strange Family

Tonight I was treated to another artist I had always wanted to see live, Tech N9ne! Part of the Strange Days Tour, celebrating a “Decade of Excellence,” Tech N9ne brought his Strange Family, featuring Brotha Lynch Hung, Krizz Kaliko, Kutt Calhoun, Big Scoob, Prozak and Cognito. With this lineup, the show was sure to please.
When we arrived, people were packed in wall to wall, hands in the air, bouncing up and down and the blast of heat and funk from all the bodies was overwhelming. The stage was setup with a large Strange Music record label logo hanging center, large standups for each rapper, from which they entered the stage. Tech N9ne and Brotha Lynch were on stage, spilling the rhymes and working the crowd. Made it just in time for Bout Ta' Bubble and Like I Died, loosened me up and got me dancing in a hurry. The beat came down, Brotha Lynch did D.O.A., then continued into Jay-Z’s Nigga What Nigga Who.
Rappers went on and off stage, rotated through each other’s songs, and all worked together like a well oiled machine. Tech N9ne and the Strange Family killed it, running through Colostomy Bag, I Plotted My Next Murder, Einstein, Sorry N Shit, Let's Get Fucked Up, Salue, and everyone's favorite drink Caribou Lou. Brotha Lynch stated the chorus to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the whole audience sang along acappella, after which he delivered his long promised This Ring.
Tech N9ne thanked his long time supporters and fans over his 10 year career, making him the most successful independent rapper of all time, stating “This is a blessing.” Near the end of the show, at one point, I counted 9 different rappers on stage. They went out strong with Leave Me Alone, Demons, Freaky, some sick freestyle scratching from DJ Chill, and closed with I'm a Playa. Exhausted, Tech N9ne exclaimed that this was the longest show he had ever performed, just over 2 hours. The whole crowd was in a frenzy, hands in the air, cheering and screaming. Each rapper slowly exited and the fans cleared the room, breaking into an “oh areola” chant on their way out.
Tech N9ne and his Strange Family put on an excellent show. The energy was strong throughout, beats were mixed well, rhymes were ill, and the audience was bumping non-stop. It was a shame I didn’t make it to see Tech N9ne before his 10 year anniversary, but this show was definitely worth the wait!